It all started in 2013… We stumbled upon an article that discussed the possible reuse of scrap tyres as footwear soles. Excited about this idea, we decided to give it a try. But with no idea on how to go about making shoes, we went door hopping down the dingy alleys of Thakkar Bappa Colony and areas around Kurla station, where many cobblers reside and work. After talking to a few of these cobblers and learning how shoes and sandals are made, after a few trial and errors we managed to get a few pairs of sandals made with soles made from discarded tyres…. and thus began the journey.
A Realization… Working with the cobblers made us realize the various socio-economic problems that these cobblers are plagued with. They are often exploited by retailers and wholesalers who require them to invest in the production, pay them meager amount for all the hardships, and often delay payments as well. This spirals them into never ending debt cycles. Hence at that stage, we took a conscious decision to address these issues and make it the priority for our venture.
We believe that our cobblers are the backbone of our venture. They deserve to be remunerated for their skills and hard work which makes our products the comfortable stylish footwear they are today. We thus pay our cobblers a fair price for their efforts in an attempt to stabilize their financial condition and reduce exploitation of this specialized profession. More importantly, we pay them on time as well as invest in the production.
More: The right choice for our environment
Our footwear are made of natural fabric like cotton and jute, vegan material, and soles made from up-cycled rubber such as discarded tires, used conveyor belts, old rubber mats and so on. Upcycling of discarded rubber to make soles does not involve any chemical processes.
Paaduks – Shoes for Better Lives
While Paaduks is an attempt to make eco friendly footwear, we also envision a prosperous cobbler community. We sincerely adhere to guidelines of internationally agreed FAIRTRADE standards.
The name ‘Paaduks’?
‘Paaduks’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Paadukas’ which is the name of India’s oldest, most quintessential footwear. ‘Paada’ means foot in Sanskrit and ‘Paaduks’ essentially means footwear.
Paaduks was co-founded by Jay and Jothsna Rege in 2013. In Feb of 2015, Jidnyasa Butley, who till then worked as a volunteer with Paaduks, took charge of the entire Operations and Sales of Paaduks. She left the organization in early 2018 to pursue her business education. Currently Nasim Mohammed, who had joined the team in August 2015 as the production in-charge, manages the entire operations of Paaduks.
All this would not have been possible without the incubation support provided by UnLtd India. A big ‘Thank You’ to you guys.